Monday, 27 April 2009

Postcard from the Dominican Republic

Received on 21 April 2009, my first postcard from Hispaniola in the West Indies, and its western part, the Dominican Republic. The pictures show the main sights of the Colonial City of the Santo Domingo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Santo Domingo "became the site of the first cathedral, hospital, customs house and university in the Americas. This colonial town, founded in 1498, was laid out on a grid pattern that became the model for almost all town planners in the New World."

Now, there is the interesting matter of the "stamp". It certainly looks like one, was issued by the Dominican "Instituto Postal", was stuck on the card, serves as a proof of the postage paid, was postmarked, but still I think it is more of a label, unique with its bar-code and number. I could not find much information about it, only that it is sold in tourist resorts in packets and has universal value (official/priority mail) as postage for sending mail to the whole world.

Thank you very much, Trupti, for this greeting from the faraway island:-)

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Postcard from Ireland no. 3

My mapping or Ireland continues:-) This time I received this postcard of Bray, a town in County Wicklow, some 20 kms south of Dublin, showing the hill of Bray Head and the seaside Promenade.

The lovely, in its gently coulouring almost romantic marine stamp (issued on 15 August 2008, with a print-run of 252,000) commemorates the 150th anniversary of the first transatlantic message by cable from Europe to America, showing the HMS Agamemnon and the USS Niagra ships which connected Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Canada with Knightstown on Valentia Island, Ireland on 5 August 1858. On 16 August 1858, the first official transatlantic cable message from Europe to America was sent by Britain's Queen Victoria to James Buchanan, President of the United States.

Thank you very much, Stephany:-)

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

New Czech stamps - April 2009 - II.

Issued today, two engraved commemorative stamps of 10 CZK (rate for everyday use on letters and postcards within the Czech Republic).

The new train stamp (last train stamp was issued more than a year ago) is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of opening the railway line connecting the Bohemian cities of Pardubice and Liberec (1 May 1859).


Stamp commemorating the 75th anniversary of opening the new building of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (1934), designed by the famous architect Josef Fanta (Art Noveau). Print-run for both stamps is 2 million.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Cover from Russia no. 6

Another great cover received on 30 March 2009 from Alex in Astrakhan, Russia, with stamps of my favourite topic: regions. This time there is a 5 ruble stamp of the Nizhniy Novgorod Region issued on 6 January 2004, with a print-run of 200,000, featuring Boldino hall, a tower of the Nizhegorodsky Kremlin, the Nizhegorodskaya Fair building, a monument to Seraphim Sarovsky in Sarov and also productions of the local handicrafts. The other stamp was issued on 20 May 2008, in a series of 5 (print-run 210,000), presenting the Sverdlovsk Region in the Ural Mountains, and with it its landscape, malachite, and also the Nevjansky inclined tower, which is the unique monument of architecture of the first quarter of the XVIII century. The last stamp is from 13 November 2008 and commemorates the 15th anniversary of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation (print-run 700,000).

Cover from Singapore no. 3

Another nice airmail cover from Singapore, courtesy of Liu Nian. Sent on 11 December 2008 and received 7 days later. Apart from the pretty 30c Blue-throated Bee-eater stamp from 2007 shown in my earlier post, it bears a smaller stamp from the series "Vanishing Trades" issued on 24 May 2006, consisting of 10 stamps (5 x 1st local value and 5 x 80c). The stamp used on the letter shows a spice grinder at work. Thank you!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Postcard from China no. 2

A postcard from China, showing the confluence of the rivers Fuhe and Nanhe in the city of Chendgu, capital of Sichuan province, one of the oldest cities in China.

The stamp is from 1993 and is a part of a series dedicated to bamboo and its various forms. I think it is taken from the miniature sheet of 5 yuan.

Cover from Brazil no. 4

A letter received on 9 March 2009, sent on 18 February 2009 from the town of Porto Uniao in the state of Santa Catarina. The single stamp was issued on 22 November 2008 and is one of a series of stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil. It shows a map of the Atlantic Ocean with letters flying between Portugal, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Angola, and is a symbolic reminder of the 200th anniversary of the provisional regulations of the general administration of the post which modernised the then postal system.
Thank you, Nina.

Postcard from Serbia no. 2

Another fine (and large) postcard from Beograd, Serbia, showing the monument of Prince Mihailo Obrenovič (1882) with the National Theatre in the background. It was sent on 2 February 2009 and received a week later.

The two stamps are from 2007, and as one stamp in an earlier post, are part of a series of nice photographic definitives showing Serbian landscapes (this time the mountain regions of Goč and Zlatibor). Thank you, Ana:-)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Winter greetings from France

Two letters from France using the total of 5 stamps originally issued in one souvenir sheet on 2 February 2009. The sheet was dedicated to the World Alpine Skiing Championship held in Val d'Isere on 2-15/2/2009.

One of the stamps shows a group of relaxing skiers below the name Val d'Isere, the other four show skiers during competition in descente (downhill), super combine (super combined), slalom and slalom géant (giant slalom). Both covers are hand cancelled, one on 13/2/2009, the other on 24/2/2009, both in Lyon.

Thank you, Thomas!

Postcard from Slovakia no.5

A multiview postcard of the thermal spa in the town of Velky Meder in southern Slovakia (District of Dunajska Streda) which I sent myself from there on our way from Hungary in 2007. The large 16 SVK stamp commemorates the 750th anniversary of founding the city of Banska Bystrica in 1255 (even if it looks like it is engraved the stamp is printed in offset, print-run 300,000, issued on 14 February 2005). The smaller engraved definitive was issued in 1995 and is part of the long-running series of towns and their coats of arms, which has been replaced in 2009 by a new series with euro nominal values.

Cover from Belarus no. 2

A letter sent on 22 January 2009 from Minsk, Belarus and received 4 days later. The topics of the two definitive stamps are Garden Flowers and Animals of Belarus. The 500 ruble Lilium hybrida stamp was issued on 30 May 2008, the photo self-adhesive squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) stamp is from 12 June 2007 (print-run 3,000,000). A rate (240 rubles) covers the postage for sending a letter within Belarus. Thank you, Tanya, for both!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Postcard from Ireland no. 2

Another fantastic card received today from Ireland showing five Irish castles (e.g. Ross castle - in the middle, Kilkenny Castle - top left, Dublin Castle - bottom right...). The large stamp of 82 eurocent was issued on 8 July 2008 in a series dedicated to the recent Irish cinema and films produced there. The film "The Wind That Shakes the Barley", made by the British director Ken Loach in 2006, was awarded the Palme D'Or at that year's Cannes Film Festival, and no, I haven't seen it yet. The other films are "Garage", "Kings" and "Cré na Cille". Print-runs: 370,000 for 55c stamps, and 320,000 for the 82c ones.

Thank you, Stefania:-)

Postcard from Florida, USA

Here is a flamingo postcard from Florida, sent on 7 February 2008 and received 19 days later, special by its insufficient postage. The sender put on only a 41 cent stamp of the domestic rate... and the card safely reached me even across the ocean. An American postman marked the card as "short paid" with the T68/75 and "postage due" notices, however, no one here asked me for anything.

The stamp is a self-adhesive flower issued in 2007, along with 7 other stamps.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Cover from Portugal no. 4

A letter received on 9 April 2009 and sent on 5 April 2009 from Lagos, Portugal. The stamps with skull and fossils is part of a series of 6 stamps dedicated to the bicentary of the birth of Charles Darwin (1809-2009). There are two stamps with the nominal value of 32 eurocent, 2 stamps of 68 eurocent and 2 stamps of 80 eurocent, plus a miniature sheet. Thank you, José Antonio!